Framing Science Talk at the National Science Foundation
Next week, on Friday April 18, I will be giving a talk at the National Science Foundation, sponsored by the National Capital Area Skeptics. Open to the public and NSF staff**, the talk is titled "Framing Science: Conflict and Consensus in Public Communication."
As case studies, I will be focusing specifically on the issues of climate change and evolution, reviewing media and public opinion trends while also contextualizing the relevance of Gore's new communication initiative and the release of Expelled. The presentation marks roughly a year since the publication of the Framing Science essay at Science and I will be discussing some of the reaction to the article.
Location and time are below with more details here.
Friday, April 18, 1 - 3 pm (arrive by 12:45 pm)
Public & Free -- Easy Prior Registration Required (**)
National Science Foundation, Room 375 (**)
4201 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, VA
**Non-NSF employees must register in advance for a guest badge for this event. By April 16, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org (or call 301 587-3827) giving the first and last name of each attendee and optionally their organizational affiliation for their guest badge.
Registered guests enter the NSF building at the corner of 9th St. N and N Stuart Streets by 12:45 pm and show a photo ID to pickup your guest badge; then proceed past security to Room 375 for seating by 1 pm.
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It's one of the most consistent patterns in the unviverse. What causes it?
- Spinning discs are everywhere – just look at our solar system, the rings of Saturn, and all the spiral galaxies in the universe.
- Spinning discs are the result of two things: The force of gravity and a phenomenon in physics called the conservation of angular momentum.
- Gravity brings matter together; the closer the matter gets, the more it accelerates – much like an ice skater who spins faster and faster the closer their arms get to their body. Then, this spinning cloud collapses due to up and down and diagonal collisions that cancel each other out until the only motion they have in common is the spin – and voila: A flat disc.
It turns out, that tattoo ink can travel throughout your body and settle in lymph nodes.
In the slightly macabre experiment to find out where tattoo ink travels to in the body, French and German researchers recently used synchrotron X-ray fluorescence in four "inked" human cadavers — as well as one without. The results of their 2017 study? Some of the tattoo ink apparently settled in lymph nodes.
Image from the study.
As the authors explain in the study — they hail from Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility, and the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment — it would have been unethical to test this on live animals since those creatures would not be able to give permission to be tattooed.
Because of the prevalence of tattoos these days, the researchers wanted to find out if the ink could be harmful in some way.
"The increasing prevalence of tattoos provoked safety concerns with respect to particle distribution and effects inside the human body," they write.
It works like this: Since lymph nodes filter lymph, which is the fluid that carries white blood cells throughout the body in an effort to fight infections that are encountered, that is where some of the ink particles collect.
Image by authors of the study.
Titanium dioxide appears to be the thing that travels. It's a white tattoo ink pigment that's mixed with other colors all the time to control shades.
The study's authors will keep working on this in the meantime.
“In future experiments we will also look into the pigment and heavy metal burden of other, more distant internal organs and tissues in order to track any possible bio-distribution of tattoo ink ingredients throughout the body. The outcome of these investigations not only will be helpful in the assessment of the health risks associated with tattooing but also in the judgment of other exposures such as, e.g., the entrance of TiO2 nanoparticles present in cosmetics at the site of damaged skin."
Do you have a magnetic compass in your head?
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